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-   -   Help finding a good quality camera. (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/what-camera-should-i-buy-80/help-finding-good-quality-camera-175691/)

disneyguy Aug 19, 2010 2:23 AM

Help finding a good quality camera.
 
Hey all,
I am trying to look for a new camera right now that will produce greater quality images than the cheap point and shoot. Budget is about $550, I have been looking into the olympus pen epl1 and the pentax k-x which are roughly about the same price. I mostly take pictures around the holidays and on vacation. Also it would be nice to be able to take video too (less cameras to carry around on vacation). I am quite advanced so to be able to take pictures and shoot video with manual controls is a plus.
Let me hear your opinions,
Thanks.

TCav Aug 19, 2010 3:01 AM

From what you've said, I think you'd get good results from either. An important criterion is how the camera feels to you. If you can't comfortably hold the camera, if you can't find the controls and commands when you need them, you'll miss shots, and be disappointed with your choice. I suggest you go to a good camera store, try them both, and buy the one you like better.

wave01 Aug 19, 2010 4:21 AM

Hi and welcome. Good advice try both as they are different types of camera the EPL1 is micro four thirds and weighs a lot less than the K-X. Thats Something else to be concidered.

mtclimber Aug 19, 2010 12:23 PM

To me it is the Pentax Kx all the way.

My reason? It very simple. Unless you purchase the $(US)250.00 accessory VF-2 viewfinder, you will be squinting at that LCD in bright sunshine and wonder why you cannot frame your photos correctly.

The EPL-1 is a good camera, I own one. But I really need to see what I am shooting clearly and be able to analyze the photo environment. The size difference between the EPL-1 and the KX is really not that much different.

Sarah Joyce

shoturtle Aug 19, 2010 12:43 PM

Video, gives the epl-1 an advantage. The pentax is the better low light camera shoot well upto 6400iso. While the epl-1 shoots well upto 2000iso. But the liveview of the epl-1 makes it allot better for HD video. Shooting liveview on all dslr except for a sony. It just not that good. Also try shooting with liveview holding the dslr away from you and using the lcd. It is not that great to get a steady shot. You can do it with the much smaller epl-1.

If you want very low light and action, the pentax is the better option.

If you want to travel with, shoot hd the epl-1 is the better option.

I shoot both cameras allot, and own the epl-1. Each has their strong points.

It would be best to figure out what is the important things you want. That will help allot in deciding between the 2 camera.

Allot will make the point that the option evf for the epl-1 is a problem, and that it is not worth the 250 dollars. But for some it is worth it. I have it and that was a great investment. I can shoot HD with the evf, allowing me to frame the video better then any dslr. Also it is a high res evf, better then any external or built in evf on the market. As I now wear glass. It is a larger display, and very high res. This point is for each user to decide.

There are pros and cons to both system.

Go to the shop, handle both, and decide what is more important to you, and it will make deciding easier.

skylark Aug 19, 2010 6:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by disneyguy (Post 1130960)
Hey all,
I am trying to look for a new camera right now that will produce greater quality images than the cheap point and shoot. Budget is about $550, I have been looking into the olympus pen epl1 and the pentax k-x which are roughly about the same price. I mostly take pictures around the holidays and on vacation. Also it would be nice to be able to take video too (less cameras to carry around on vacation). I am quite advanced so to be able to take pictures and shoot video with manual controls is a plus.
Let me hear your opinions,
Thanks.

The title of your post says "good quality camera" which translates to good quality images.

I don't own either the EPL-1 or KX cameras but here's my take. For me, it takes viewing through a viewfinder during the day to setup the camera to take good quality images. Using the "screen only" during the day, it's a struggle just to see enough to "compose" the scene. There's no way for me to verify anything on the screen so it's like shooting in auto and trusting the camera.

Shooting with my FZ50, I only use the viewfinder day or night and can see things very well shooting in sunlight. My attention is on getting the best image rather than struggling to just "compose" the scene. I can use manual focus and get the focus on the subject through branches. In macro mode I can insure focus is on the chili pepper instead of on the background. I can't do those things using the LCD screen in daylight.

So if I was willing to buy the $250 optional VF for the EPL-1 then either camera would be good and I would decide from there. But if I didn't want to spend the additional money for the optional VF, then it would be the KX all the way.

Sky

interested_observer Aug 20, 2010 12:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shoturtle (Post 1131086)
Video, gives the epl-1 and advantage. The pentax is the better low light camera shoot well upto 6400iso. While the epl-1 shoots well upto 2000iso. But the liveview of the epl-1 makes it allot better for HD video. Shooting liveview on all dslr except for a sony. It just not that good. Also try shooting with liveview holding the dslr away from you and using the lcd. It is not that great to get a steady shot. You can do it with the much smaller epl-1.

If you want very low light and action, the pentax is the better option.

If you want to travel with, shoot hd the epl-1 is the better option.

I shoot both cameras allot, and own the epl-1. Each has their strong points.

It would be best to figure out what is the important things you want. That will help allot in deciding between the 2 camera.

Allot will make the point that the option evf for the epl-1 is a problem, and that it is not worth the 250 dollars. But for some it is worth it. I have it and that was a great investment. I can shoot HD with the evf, allowing me to frame the video better then any dslr. Also it is a high res evf, better then any external or built in evf on the market. As I now wear glass. It is a larger display, and very high res. This point is for each user to decide.

There are pros and cons to both system.

Go to the shop, handle both, and decide what is more important to you, and it will make deciding easier.

I think that shorturtle frames the analysis between the EPL-1 and the KX or for that matter an EVIL vs dSLR in general - very well. There are clear advantages for both, as was pointed out. However, in that Olympus has made the electronic viewfinder an option, to my way of thinking it opens us the EPL-1 for an additional area of criticism. - Note - I have not used one, however I am extrapolating my use of the LX3 to the EPL-1.

Without the viewfinder, to effectively use the EPL-1 you need to hold it out in front of you, and this is somewhat of an unstable shooting position. Especially if you are using a lens of any size and weight. On a bright day with a fast exposure it would be fine. However, slow down the shutter and I believe you are going to be getting some movement, or additional noise from a higher ISO speed - even with image stabilization. Also, this position can be tiring, having your arms out in front of you a lot.

With the viewfinder, you pull the camera in to a more traditional method of using it, which is much more stable.

So, I would think that would be an additional concern that needs to be factored in here - especially, if you pass on the viewfinder.

Smaller and lighter weight lenses would certainly help - as larger heavier lenses would hinder.

However, I do have to admit, the unit's physical size makes it very attractive, along with the larger than P&S sensor size.

:cool:

shoturtle Aug 20, 2010 1:07 AM

Just one more thing to add, the reworked olympus sensor is slightly better the new aps-c sensor form sony. It actually has less noise from 100-1600iso, above that the aps-c sensor takes the lead.

But the epl-1 with the kit lens is not a really issue to shoot with the lcd. Even with the panasonic 45-200mm lens it is not to heavy. But the option evf makes it bit easier to frame with.

Here is some of my impression of the epl-1 with various lenses. Most before I got the EVF.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...mpression.html

So macro I took with the epl-1, good idea of the details you can capture with it.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/searc...garden&x=0&y=0

shoturtle Aug 20, 2010 1:11 AM

Did you know the lx5 will use the gf2 optional evf also. Think that allot of the bridge camera may go this route.

Quote:

Originally Posted by interested_observer (Post 1131385)
I think that shorturtle frames the analysis between the EPL-1 and the KX or for that matter an EVIL vs dSLR in general - very well. There are clear advantages for both, as was pointed out. However, in that Olympus has made the electronic viewfinder an option, to my way of thinking it opens us the EPL-1 for an additional area of criticism. - Note - I have not used one, however I am extrapolating my use of the LX3 to the EPL-1.

Without the viewfinder, to effectively use the EPL-1 you need to hold it out in front of you, and this is somewhat of an unstable shooting position. Especially if you are using a lens of any size and weight. On a bright day with a fast exposure it would be fine. However, slow down the shutter and I believe you are going to be getting some movement, or additional noise from a higher ISO speed - even with image stabilization. Also, this position can be tiring, having your arms out in front of you a lot.

With the viewfinder, you pull the camera in to a more traditional method of using it, which is much more stable.

So, I would think that would be an additional concern that needs to be factored in here - especially, if you pass on the viewfinder.

Smaller and lighter weight lenses would certainly help - as larger heavier lenses would hinder.

However, I do have to admit, the unit's physical size makes it very attractive, along with the larger than P&S sensor size.

:cool:


shoturtle Aug 20, 2010 1:22 AM

Here are some pentax k-x samples.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/wi...birds-nyc.html

and here is a very very low light samples 3200, 6400, and 12800iso. The pentax is the better low light and action camera.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ge...canon-t1i.html

both are excellent camera, just need to find out what is more important to you.

Just a note, the jpeg engine of the epl-1 is so good, that most of my epl-1 shots do not need editing. The pentax shots do require a little bit of processing after shooting just like my canon.

disneyguy Aug 20, 2010 2:27 AM

Thank you all for all the information you provided me with, I went to B and H today and got the e-pl1, I hope I made a good decision although I am having a little doubt. Anyways should I purchase a uv filter/protective filter for the lens?

shoturtle Aug 20, 2010 2:35 AM

No on the filter protector, but I would get a haze 1 filter. It does cut haze and is useful. Congrats on the camera.

What are your doubts about the epl-1?

shoturtle Aug 20, 2010 2:51 AM

PS

You may want to check out the olympus m4/3 section. There is a collection of useful info that is posted there.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...ur-thirds-103/

disneyguy Aug 20, 2010 2:56 AM

Thanks, I was just thinking maybe I should have gone with the pentax k-x? I think it's the lack of the e-pl1 not including a view finder that's bothering me, I don't know, maybe I just need some more time to fool around with the e-pl1.

shoturtle Aug 20, 2010 3:11 AM

with the kit lens the epl-1 is very easy to use with the lcd. It is when you move into longer lenses that the vf2 really comes into play. It is hands down the best electronic viewfinder on the market include external and internal ones form all cameras. If you ask anyone that has used the vf2, they will tell you it is just a fastastic add on.

But one of the big thing you said you want to do is HD. And honestly, I shoot the k-x and the t1i, and they are just not that good for HD video. And the pentax is okay for hd, but no where as good as the olympus, and even behind the canon at 720p. You really can not shoot hd well with a dslr, as you need to use the lcd. And if you went the route of the vf2, you can shoot HD with the camera to your eye.

Now HD was not one of the big things you mention. The pentax would be more favorable. But it is still a larger system, so it is not as good to travel with. My wife flies over 200k miles a year. And the epl1 is so much easier to travel with then the canon. She loves shooting the canon before we got the epl1. But because of the added size. She did not take it with her allot. The epl1 on the other hand, I do not get to use as often as she always has it.

If you were a very low light shooter, or action shoot. The kx would be the better tool.

But noise and image quality wise, the epl1 is a match for the kx from 100-1600iso. Which is where you want to shoot at for general photography. It give the be iq and least noise. The sensor is better in these range then the new sony apsc sensor that will be in the nikon d3100 the new sony dslr and most likely the new pentax.

But BH has a good return policy if you still unsure about it. But if you have any question, feel free to PM me.

Just one suggestion if you shoot in P or the manual modes Ienhance picture style is awesome

disneyguy Aug 21, 2010 1:34 PM

So I played with the epl1 a little more, the pictures look great but I still am thinking to go return it and get the pentax k-x, I think the main reason I am not so happy is because the k-x was a lot faster at auto focusing and it has a built in view finder. I mean I like the epl1 art modes and stuff since I don't do photo editing really (I edit video mostly). The size difference didn't really bother me since the pentax k-x was quite small for a dslr. It's just getting me all confused because I don't know what to do, I am leaving on vacation in 2 days.

shoturtle Aug 21, 2010 1:46 PM

If you are going for the video, I will be honest, the epl1 is the better choice. You will not be happy with the k-x's HD and focus for HD. In HD mode the K-x has very slow focus. Allot slower then the epl-1.

Also have you check the firmware of the epl-1. If it is not at 1.1 update it, it get a faster.

disneyguy Aug 22, 2010 9:15 AM

Let me ask this, lets ignore video as a priority. Between the k-x and the e-pl1 which will produce the greater quality image?

shoturtle Aug 22, 2010 3:48 PM

They are honestly about the same. I have shot them both. And they are so close in image quality in RAW. But in Jpeg the EPL-1 is just better. Here is a link of the epl-1 against my T1i, And the epl-1 just as good. Also, the epl-1 correct for lens short comings, at higher iso, the k-x has a green fringe on lighting, while the epl-1 corrects it out. It is above the 1600iso that the k-x takes the lead and in action shooting.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/wi...s-germany.html

interested_observer Aug 22, 2010 4:06 PM

Overall, there is no perfect camera. Each model has shortcomings. What you try to do is to accentuate the positives while minimizing the negatives. Photography is an exercise in compromising.

There will always be a better camera the does something better - then it becomes the endless equipment chase. What you as the photographer need to do, is to learn / understand your equipment, understand the situation that you are going to photograph, and then create a situation where you are able to get the shot (or video) that you want, while setting the camera up in such a way or advantageous position so that it is able to capture it for you.

Will it always work. No, but you can usually get close (i.e., the 70% solution), and along the way, you will take images (or videos) that you were not expecting.

It all comes down to working with the light.....

:cool:


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